September 21 saw us without a chief coach and we were very grateful to Brian Young for stepping in and organising trials together with a band of volunteers. Our new chief coach Anthony Smith (Smithy) joined us in November and his assistant Tom Gale in January.
The start of the new year saw the squad racing at Quintin Head at the end of January in very well matched crews (less than 10s between crews for both the men and the women), followed by Hammersmith Head, which saw the Women’s squad place 1st and 3rd, and then men 3rd (after a penalty) and 14th. Trialists also raced up in Boston in February, with athletes placing 5th (& fastest U23) W1x, 6th U23 M2-, and 14th W2-.
Head of the River races.
In preparation for these, UL crews raced successful fixtures with Thames, Molesey and St. Paul’s school,
In the Women’s Head, the women’s squad won the University pennant, placing 6th, 18th and 92nd overall. A Tyrian crew also raced, and was the fastest alumni crew!
In the Men’s Head, the three ULBC crews were 8th, 25th and 68th overall. A Tyrian crew came 99th.
Bewl Water Training Camp
In early April the squad returned to Bewl Water for a training camp, where despite the weather’s best efforts, we had a very good week of seat racing and lots of miles. We also managed to fit in some basketball when the water was too bad to row on, and it’s safe to say our ball handling skills proved an excellent reminder of why we’re all rowers instead
Over the Easter weekend UL’s GB triallists raced at Caversham, where UL athletes were the fastest U23s in both the men’s and women’s pairs, 4th and 10th overall W2-, and 9th overall M2-.
The May bank holiday weekend saw most of the squad racing at BUCS regatta, where ULBC we had excellent results with the two 1st eights and top fours winning silver medals in the championship events.
Windermere Cup, Seattle
The women’s squad was missing two athletes from the BUCS weekend, with Georgie Robinson Ranger and Emily Lindberg away, having been selected to race at the Windermere Cup in Seattle in the GB development eight together with UL alumna Issy Powell. The GB 8+ won both races to take the Cup title.
At the Met, the Women’s 1st 8+ won Championship eights on both days, beating Leander, Thames and TSS 1st eights. The Women’s 2nd eight won the academic event, on the Sunday having raced fours on the Saturday, and the men placed well, making A&B finals across the board. Tyrian won the inaugural alumni mixed eights event with a crew full of Olympians and internationals.
Following this, the UL squad had a great week at the Docks with warm (if windy) weather and crews came out polished and ready for the biggest races races of the season.
Henley Women’s & Marlow Regattas
At Marlow, the men’s first eight were 3rd and the PA 4+ were 2nd. This prequalified the men’s Temple ‘A’ crew for HRR.
At Henley Women’s regatta we raced in the Ch8+, Ch4- (in a UL-Tyrian), and Aca4- events. The Champ 4- timetrial took them straight to the quarter finals, and after a rerow in that, they made it to the semis. The Aca4- also made it to the semi-finals, where they were beaten by the eventual winners of the event. The Championship eight once again proved as the fastest UK crew, winning the timetrial to take top seed in the quarterfinals. This crew made the final, beating TSS and Leander along the way, where they met a tough Brown university crew who won the event after a very hard-fought race.
Henley Royal Regatta
Both the men’s Temple B and women’s Island B qualified to join to the A crews in the regatta. The PA 4 unfortunately did not qualify. 27 crews were asked to race for just 2 places. It seemed rather odd that a lot of overseas crews did not have to race in the qualifiers.
Henley week started of well, and in front of a sea of purple support on the bank, with all crews winning their first round. In the Temple our A crew beat Radley and the B crew beat Queen’s Belfast. In the Island our B crew beat the Imperial women’s first eight and the A crew beat Durham’s top crew.
Temple B got knocked out on the Wednesday, Island B on the Thursday and Temple A the Friday (by the eventual winners of the event). This left Island A to race on Saturday where they drew an incredibly strong Yale crew. UL led to the Barrier and the Fawley markers, then Yale rowed through in the second half and the crews traded blows the rest of the course, with the Yale crew coming out on top by ½ a length.
World & European Championships
Seven UL athletes won International medals rowing for GB.
Emily Craig – World and European Champion, WLwt2-
Isaac Workman – U23 World Champion, M8+
Phoebe Snowden – U23 silver medal W8+,
Georgie Robinson Ranger – U23 silver W4-.
Tom Cross – European Championships bronze M4-
Jessie Martin – European Championships bronze W4-
Annie Sharp (2021 alumna) – European Championships bronze W4-